Mabel Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - British Columbia -

Located in south central British Columbia, Mabel Lake shares its shore with Mabel Lake Provincial Park and private development. Found in the midst of beautiful mountain scenery, Mabel Lake lies within the Shuswap River system where the landscape changes from the forested slopes of the Thompson Plateau and the rainy slopes of the Shuswap Highlands. Drive 37 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Vernon in the North Okanagan region, and you will find a welcome retreat in the 14,759-acres (5,990 hectares) of Mabel Lake.

Originally the home of the Salish people, Mabel Lake was first visited by fur traders in 1811. Mabel Charles, daughter of a nineteenth century Hudson’s Bay Company manager, became the namesake of Mabel Lake. By 1866 the first white settler had arrived in the North Okanagan region, soon to be followed by a small rush of gold miners, cattle ranchers and farmers.

Today Mabel Lake meanders through the rural landscape of the 760-square mile (1,969 square kilometer) Shuswap River watershed. The Shuswap River flows through 5,137-acre (2,080 hectare) Sugar Lake before flowing into the south end of Mabel Lake. The Shuswap leaves the western shore of Mabel Lake, making its way to 4,799-acre (1943 hectare) Mara Lake. Two dams lie along the Shuswap River, turning Sugar Lake into a storage reservoir before the waters reach glacially carved Mabel Lake. BC Hydro owns the dams and contributes to the development of the Shuswap River Recreation Area found between Mabel Lake and Sugar Lake. Multiple picnic areas, hiking trails (including a wheel-chair accessible trail), restrooms, viewing areas and canoe pull-out, launch and portage trails are among the amenities found along this portion of the Shuswap River.

Created in 1972, 450-acre (182 hectare) Mabel Lake Provincial Park was expanded to 462 acres (187 hectares) in 2000. Campsites with water, firewood, sani-station, and nearby restroom facilities are tucked into the surrounding forest near the southeast end of the lake. A playground, day-use picnic area, self-guided nature tours, marina store and boat rentals add to the fun at this family-friendly destination. Near the park campgrounds, families will find self-guiding nature trails. As trails head into the hills watch for area wildlife listed as squirrels, painted turtles, deer, black bears and a large variety of birds and waterfowl.

Most park visitors come for the endless selection of aquatic sports found on Mabel Lake’s calm water. Swimming is a major attraction along the 6,890 feet (2,100 meters) of sandy beaches. Boat access to Mabel Lake is limited to lakeshore residents and Mabel Lake Provincial Park boat launch. With a length of 26 miles (42 kilometers) and width of two miles (3 kilometers), Mabel Lake is an excellent lake for waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, personal water craft, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

The depth of this long lake reaches 630 feet (192 meters) with an average depth of 374 feet (114 meters). Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy the variety and size of game fish living in Mabel Lake including: rainbow trout weighing up to eight pounds, Dolly Varden trout up to 12 pounds, lake trout up to 18 pounds, Kokanee averaging one-to-two pounds, and whitefish. Trout fishing is open year around with a special Chinook salmon season open from late July into September. Whether you come for one of the fishing derbies in Mabel Lake Provincial Park or a relaxing fishing vacation, a British Columbia fishing license will be required.

As you plan your trip to Mabel Lake, consider the many towns and villages that can serve as “jumping off points” for your time at Mabel Lake. Arriving from the west, the beautiful drive to Mabel Lake goes through the town of Vernon. Claiming more than 100 lakes within an hour’s drive, Vernon visitors will find a wide variety of accommodations to serve as your holiday home away from home. The population estimated at 36,000 offers an assortment of restaurants, shopping and services catering to the needs of visitors. From Vernon visitors may take the northerly route to Mabel Lake passing through the village of Enderby. The southerly route takes you through the village of Lumby. These small communities rest among scenic valleys and hills that sit in close proximity to summer’s golfing, hiking trails, mountain biking trails and local farmers’ markets. When the snow starts to fall, you will find snowmobiling and skiing among the winter sport activities. If your choice is to stay on the shores of Mabel Lake, a full-service resort with RV park and airpark are available. Vacation rentals including condos, cabins, cottages and lakeside real estate developments lie along the western shore of Mabel Lake at the village of Kingfisher. Whether you come to fish for trout, hike the hills or merely watch the sun throw long shadows across the water, come to Mabel Lake where accommodations have been built with your peace and comfort in mind.

Things to do at Mabel Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Mabel Lake

  • Chinook Salmon
  • Dolly Varden Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Mabel Lake Photo Gallery

    Mabel Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 14,795 acres

    Shoreline Length: 50 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,299 feet

    Average Depth: 374 feet

    Maximum Depth: 630 feet

    Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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